Metal Review: Holy Grail – Ride the Void (2013)

Holy Grail - Ride the Void (2013)The sophomore jinx is something that has befallen many a good band. Some bands (Skid Row comes to mind) hit the ball out of the park while other bands never capture the same magic that their debut did. They say that you have a lifetime to write your debut album, but there is never really enough time to write the follow-up. With the success of Holy Grail’s debut effort, Crisis in Utopia, in 2010, they were fortunate to have a little extra time to write the follow-up, which is this year’s Ride the Void. Did they suffer the dreaded sophomore jinx? Hell no.

Even with line-up changes, Holy Grail have continued to work hard and play hard, and the outcome of Ride the Void shows their dedication to their craft. Their attention to detail seems to be more impeccable than previously as well.

The album starts off with something that you do not hear too much these days – an intro that is worth the time on the album. Most intros become tracks that get instantly skipped when you pop the CD in, but with the instrumental Archeus, you actually want to hear it. It is a very nice instrumental that shows off their chops and their ability to play tandem melodic guitar parts.

Other standouts are the uber-melodic Bleeding Stone with its heavier riffs and catchy chorus. Once again, the guitar leads stand out above others on this one. The title track, Ride the Void, provides us with a melodic, clean opening to give us that change of pace which always works so well. Of course, the power quickly ensues once the rest of the band joins in on the fun.

The major standout on the alnum though is the multi-dimensional Bestia Triumphans, which features elements of power metal in addition to some extreme metal elements. There are some heavy riffs in there as well as some fine lead guitar licks. The vocal melody is super-catch as well as melodic.

Realistically, there are no weak moments on Ride the Void. It is as strong as anything that I have heard in the last couple of years. This is a must-add to your collection.

Ride the Void will be available January 21, 2013 through Nuclear Blast.

Ride the Void Track Listing:
1. Archeus
2. Bestia Triumphans
3. Dark Passenger
4. Bleeding Stone
5. Ride the Void
6. Too Decayed to Wait
7. Crosswinds
8. Take it to the Grave
9. Sleep of Virtue
10. Silence The Scream
11. The Great Artifice
12. Wake Me When it’s Over
13. Rains of Sorrow

Holy Grail Line-up:
James Paul Luna – Vocals
Alex Lee – Guitar
Eli Santana – Guitar
Blake Mount – Bass
Tyler Meahl – Drums